Local residents and firefighters recovered the bodies Monday after they were discovered under a bridge spanning the Guangfu River on the outskirts of Jining in Shandong province.
Interviews with residents who made the grisly find were broadcast on the Web site of the Shandong Broadcasting Company. One said he thought a body was a toy, but then he spotted several others. Another expressed concern because the river is a source of drinking water for villagers living nearby.
Hospital ID tags on eight of the babies helped investigators trace them back to the Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Xinhua reported.
Hospital mortuary workers Zhu Zhenyu and Wang Zhijun were sacked and taken away by police, Xinhua said, citing Jining government spokesman Gong Zhenhua. The babies’ families had paid the pair to dispose of the bodies, but they instead dumped them at the river.
Read also a report from China Daily.